Way Too Early Player Comparison: Chandler Hutchison is Paul George
It isn’t even a quarter into the Bulls' season, but allow me to push the gas pedal all the way to the floor instead of pumping the breaks: Chandler Hutchison might be the most intriguing player on Chicago's roster.
At 6'7" and 197 pounds, Hutchinson was the 22nd pick in the draft this summer. Upon selection, he was immediately signed by Nike, largely due to his break out season as a senior at Boise State, when he displayed his 3 and D prowess. This contract should speak volumes. Nike goes after players with star potential, and I believe we're seeing that unfold.
Early season injuries have forced Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg to extend the rotation and play guys such as Hutchison. It couldn’t have been a better omen.
Hutchison was a four-year college player. That goes a long way with me, it shows he has what it takes to apply himself and recognize he might have to work harder than other, more naturally gifted players.
Some say they aren’t fans of four year guys and I get that. If they were so good, why did it take so long to get to the league? Valid point, but there are plenty of NBA stars who took their time at the collegiate level. Jimmy Butler and Draymond Green both played four years. The Portland Trail Blazers back-court has a pair of four-year players, too. Wesley Matthews is another guy and he is a nice piece. Not in the same category as the others but you get my drift.
Hutchison is a four-year player who saw improvement every season in college. C-Hutch ended his collegiate career with a stat line of 20 points per game, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, while shooting 47 percent from the field and 36 percent from the three during his senior season.
Hutchinson has been compared to Wilson Chandler. I have a different idea. Instead, Hutch is an ideal candidate to use his size to frustrate opponents on the defensive end and make them pay when he lights it up from the three. Yeah I’m going to go there; I think Chandler Hutchison has a chance to be a Paul George-ish player.
As the Bulls are in full tank mode it only makes sense to see more Hutchison and less Justin Holiday. There is nothing to lose and all to gain by inserting him in during key parts of the games to see what his true potential is. And a starry-eyed idealist like myself has higher hopes for the late first-round pick.
Here are some of Hutchison's highlights against the Rockets on Saturday. The scope is small but eye test shows he has the same type of body movement that really do remind me of PG-13
For comparison, here are some of George's rookie highlights. Now, George is two inches taller and about 25 pounds beefier than Hutch, but I can see the weight catching up a bit after an off-season or two of weight training.
Taking a deeper look per split stats from NBA.com on Hutchison and George from both rookie campaigns you can see the numbers are pretty close, so far. It’s so early but the signs are encouraging considering Hutch will see more tick as the season progresses.
Again, it's much too early to know for sure if Hutch will continue to track like George but the eye test tells me that the Bulls may have lucked out and got another star on the sly.